Durham Scientific Crystals/ University of Durham

DURHAM SCIENTIFIC CRYSTALS (DSC) was formed in 2003 to exploit technology
developed over some 20 years in the Physics Department of Durham University. The
company specialises in the production of technologically-advanced compound
semiconductor material

DURHAM SCIENTIFIC CRYSTALS (DSC) was formed in 2003 to exploit technology developed over some 20 years in the Physics Department of Durham University. The company specialises in the production of technologically-advanced compound semiconductor materials in single crystal form. The materials are cadmium telluride (CdTe), and cadmium zinc telluride (CZT). These optoelectronic materials have significant applications as detectors of X-rays and gamma rays, notably in medical imaging, security screening and non-destructive testing. They are also used as the material of choice as substrates for the fabrication of infrared detectors having both military and civilian applications.

Despite the undoubted commercial importance of the CdTe and CZT family of materials and their long-standing recognition as the premier class of digital radiation detector, it has historically proved very difficult to produce them in a consistent and commercially viable way. DSC produces crystals using a novel vapour phase growth technique developed by the University of Durham. This patented technique is capable of producing material of improved structural integrity, uniform composition and high purity. There is also improved control of production quality compared to the liquid growth technique, thus providing higher and more predictable yields.

There is an overwhelming demand for the digitisation of X-ray imaging, both for medical and industrial non-destructive evaluation applications. Fast and accurate digital imaging capabilities will enhance diagnostic and therapeutic potential in areas such as early detection of cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis. In addition there is strong demand to use these materials in security screening as they allow faster screening and the detection of dangerous materials such as plastic explosive. DSC’s production technology will make mainstream commercial sale and use of these materials possible for the first time. During the last year, the company has demonstrated the manufacture of high-grade materials on new production equipment suitable for commercial levels of output.

For more information go to www.dscrystals.co.uk